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In Memoriam: Johni Crosland

March 2, 2011 — Johni CroslandJohni Crosland passed away on February 15, 2011. She was beloved in the college and to all those in the university who knew her. For the past fifteen years, Miss Johnnie Ray Crosland was the Assistant to the Department Head, first for the Media Arts Department in 1996 and then for the reconfigured Cinema & Television Department in 2007. She was remarkable in so many ways. She took care of everyone who walked into the department office, whether they were students, faculty, staff, or anyone else who needed assistance. Johni always knew what to do, who to go to, and how to get something done with grace and kindness. She never stopped finding ways to do her job better.

Johni began her career at Drexel in 1967, forty-four years ago. She worked in Financial Aid, Admissions, the Dean’s Office in the College of Design Arts, University Relations, the Vice President’s Office for Administration, Facilities Management, and the Office of Affirmative Action, Staff Relations and Training. Over the years, Johni developed many connections across campus and everyone who worked with her came to value her expertise and wisdom. As a result, in 2001, she received the Harold M. Myers Distinguished Service Award, one of the university’s most prestigious awards. John McCullough, once the Vice President of Administration at Drexel, described Johni as “the ultimate Drexel citizen.”

In every one of her positions, Johni distinguished herself by the zest and skill she brought to her job, and more than that, by her optimism, patience, and unfailing good nature. She was a great listener and an unsurpassed problem-solver. She made everyone around her happier, just from being around her. She had a talent for enjoying life. She loved dancing, reading thrillers and mysteries, and playing the penny slots in Atlantic City, earning her the nickname, “Miss High Roller.” She was one of a kind. To honor the memory of Johni Crosland, there will be a Memorial Service on Wednesday, March 16th, at 3:30 PM in Mitchell Auditorium in the Bossone Center at Drexel University, located on the 3100 block of Market Street.

Drexel University has established the Johni Crosland Award Fund for students who demonstrate a combination of academic merit and generosity of spirit, particularly in service to fellow students.  Donations will be accepted at the Memorial Service or can be sent to: Drexel University, Institutional Advancement, P.O. Box 8215, Philadelphia, PA  19101-9684.  Checks should be made out to “Drexel University” with “Johni Crosland Award Fund” in the memo line. We hope everyone in the Drexel community who knew and loved Johni will join us in honoring her memory.

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